Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'm back!

I just got back from my 10-day spring break trip to Syria... wow. What a beautiful country!

It's going to take me several days to sort through all my pictures and stories (it took two hours just to upload the pictures from my camera to the computer tonight!), but here's a picture from yesterday afternoon to tide y'all over for the next 24 hours.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Let me out, let me out!

I got stuck in the elevator at school again last week. (For those of you who are keeping count, that's the third time.)

There were nine of us crammed in an eight-person elevator (N.B. for those of you who have never seen a European elevator before -- an 8-person elevator in Switzerland is a heck of a lot smaller than an 8-person elevator in the States). The doors slammed shut behind us, freaking us out a little, but the elevator started going up just fine.

Then it stopped on the second floor.

There is no button for the second floor.

The elevator doors opened on solid wall, at which point my claustrophobic friend became visibly nervous. (So did I -- I had to go to the bathroom!) Everybody in the elevator started looking around bemusedly, as though to say, "What now?"

The elevator stayed there for a few minutes, then the doors slammed shut again. And slowly, very slowly, we started going down.

Much to our relief, the elevator doors opened normally once we reached the ground floor.

One of these days, I'm going to get in the habit of climbing the six flights of stairs to class...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Take a look at these kids

Keltic Dreams

(Be sure to read the article AND watch the video!)

I took dance lessons from age 12 to age 18. Starting when I was 15, I had daily lessons in school -- every other day was ballet (at which I sucked), and every other day was Irish (at which I was the best in the class).

Watching the video of these kids has made me realize how much I miss Irish dance. (As though it weren't already obvious, seeing as how I won't let my mother throw out my dance shoes, much as she'd like to!) As soon as I manage to land a full-time job, I do believe I'm going to pay to have those shoes shipped here and find a group to dance with.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pearls of wisdom

...from my professors.

Two weeks ago: "I hate human beings!"
Yesterday: "Failure is a nice word."
Tonight: (student) "You can treat people humanely?" (professor) "I try."

Gotta love 'em.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I must be hearing things. CSI Miami is on TF1 right now... ENGLISH.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Open mouth, insert foot

Sometimes it's hard being multilingual. You're busy making your way happily through life, when all of the sudden you trip over a linguistic stumbling block, publicly embarrassing yourself (much to everyone else's amusement).

That's what happened to my German professor this morning. We were busy discussing things that are typically Swiss, and one of my classmates didn't know what rösti was. Now, my German professor is bilingual German-French, and is English is usually excellent. But today, well... he had a problem with false friends.

(A brief explanation for those who don't speak French -- most adjectives end in -é, -ée, -és or -ées. These all translate into English as the ending -ed. So "plié" is "folded", "chuchoté" is "whispered", etc.)

So my professor was explaining that rösti is made out of potatoes that are "râpées". But instead of choosing to render that by "grated" potatoes, he translated it as "raped" potatoes.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mesdames, messieurs, bonsoir.

Nous vous joignons ce soir avec des nouvelles du roi belge, hospitalisé suite à une fracture du col de l'utérus...*

(The 100 greatest live broadcast bloopers are on TF1 right now. Gotta love 'em.)

*Good evening. We join you tonight with news of the Belgian king, who has been hospitalized with a broken cervix...

In like a lion...

We got our first rain in a while last night and this morning. Luckily, I only had to go outside between the two showers (it was actually faster for me to walk home from downtown than to wait for the bus).

Happy March!